Williаm Sһаtner Kirk’s Best Line In 7 Stаr Trek Movies


  • Captain Kirk’s quotes reveal the arc of his character as he evolves throughout the Star Trek movies, facing challenges and embracing change.
  • The quotes show Kirk’s unwavering sense of adventure, desire to explore, and deep loyalty to the Enterprise.
  • Kirk’s memorable lines highlight his humanity, compassion, and acceptance of his own mistakes, defining him as a true leader in the Star Trek universe.

In the 7 Star Trek movies that follow Star Trek: The Original Series and feature Admiral/Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), the Captain of the Enterprise has a great line in each of them. Beginning with Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979, the continuing adventures reunite Kirk with Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy (DeForest Kelley) and the rest of the original cast for six feature films. The seventh Star Trek movie, Star Trek Generations, passes the torch from the TOS cast to the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast for the next cinematic installments, with Kirk’s final moments on film.

Captain Kirk’s best quotes from all of the Star Trek movies show the arc of his character as he changes over the course of the film series. The cinematic scope of the Star Trek movies places Shatner’s Kirk in difficult situations with higher stakes and more pressure than in TOS, revealing the truth of his character through the battles he fights both within and without. Kirk grapples with advancing age, suffers the painful losses of both Spock and his son David, and learns to come to terms with a world that’s changing around him. In his dialogue, Kirk never loses his sense of adventure, his desire to explore, and of course, a deep loyalty to his first love, the Enterprise.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture

“I think we gave it the ability to create its own sense of purpose out of our own human weaknesses, and the drive that compels us to overcome them.”

Spock and Kirk in Star Trek The Motion Picture (1977)

In speaking about V’Ger, the sentient object that was once Earth’s Voyager probe, Admiral Kirk summarizes what makes humans unique among the Star Trek species. Humans are fraught with weakness but also strive to be better through acts of creativity, courage, and curiosity. V’Ger was created by humans, sent to the furthest reaches of the solar system and beyond to collect data about the universe, and returns seeking more than hard facts and numbers. At the conclusion of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Kirk recognizes himself and his own motivation in V’Ger’s quest, and in that reflection also recognizes that he doesn’t have any answers to the probe’s remaining questions.

Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan

“Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most… human.”

Admiral James T. Kirk gives the eulogy at Spock’s funeral at the end of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, which ends with these words of praise for his fallen first officer. In Spock’s struggle between his human and Vulcan halves, he always favored his Vulcan side and strove to embody the logic his father Sarek’s (Mark Lenard) species is famous for. Kirk’s recognition of Spock’s human side isn’t intended to diminish that; rather, the quote speaks to what Kirk himself values in his friends. Beneath Spock’s seemingly cold exterior was a warm and generous heart, full of compassion in recognizing “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few,” the famous maxim by which Spock calculated his own sacrifice. Kirk remembers Spock for all of who he was, and invites others to do the same.

Star Trek III: The Search For Spock

“To absent friends.”


Near the beginning of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Admiral Kirk raises a glass to honor the fallen Mr. Spock, who gave his life in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. While surrounded by Hikaru Sulu (George Takei), Nyota Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), and Pavel Chekov (Walter Koenig); Dr. Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley) is notably absent, but it’s the loss of Spock that’s most keenly felt at this moment. Little does Kirk know that both “absent friends” are together, in a way, as McCoy is carrying Spock’s Vulcan katra, and the journey to Spock’s resurrection will soon be underway.

“To absent friends” is repeated as a toast by Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) at the end of Star Trek Beyond.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

“A double dumb ass on you!”

Kirk and Spock stand on the street in Star Trek IV

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is markedly more lighthearted than other entries in the series, and peppered with memorable jokes and witty turns of phrase, but Admiral Kirk’s unique attempt at swearing is his best line in the film. After taking a Klingon Bird-of-prey back to 1980s San Francisco, Kirk insists that they must use profanity in order to blend in. This mandate leads to Spock’s awkward use of “the hell” and retorts like this one, in which Kirk just tries to intensify the “dumbass” comment hurled at him in the busy street to an effect more humorous than offensive. This line sums up the film as a humorous fish-out-of-water story … or is that whale out of water?

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

“You know that pain and guilt can’t be taken away with a wave of a magic wand. They’re the things we carry with us, the things that make us who we are. If we lose them, we lose ourselves. I don’t want my pain taken away! I need my pain!”

The above quote is the crux of Captain James T. Kirk’s plea to Leonard McCoy, who’s trying to convince Kirk that Spock’s half-brother Sybok (Laurence Luckinbill) is capable of removing pain and guilt, so they may be strengthened by the sharing of it. McCoy has already undergone the procedure, sharing the guilt that still plagues him after euthanizing his own father. Kirk wants no part of Sybok’s ploy, and begs McCoy to understand they’re being played for fools so Sybok can commandeer the Enterprise and take it into the Great Barrier. Kirk’s impassioned argument highlights how far he’s come in accepting his own mistakes and growing as a person.

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

“Let them die!”

In this line from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Captain Kirk reveals he’s willing to simply let the Klingons die rather than be party to a peace treaty, after Spock volunteers the Enterprise to host Klingon High Chancellor Gorkon (David Warner). It reflects Kirk’s personal vendetta against all Klingons after David’s death and a sharp confession of the prejudices that Kirk later admits to holding during his entire Starfleet career. It’s only when the treasonous Lieutenant Valeris (Kim Cattrall) echoes the sentiment back to him as justification for her actions that Kirk realizes he must change, and accept the era of peace between the Federation and Klingon Empire ushered in by the Khitomer Accords.

Star Trek Generations

“Don’t let them do anything that takes you off the bridge of that ship, because while you’re there… you can make a difference.”

Star Trek Generations includes the long-awaited meeting between Captain James T. Kirk and Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), and Kirk’s sage advice to Picard is to remain an active captain for as long as possible. It’s not that Kirk is necessarily opposed to advancing his career, but he knows that his true calling is out among the stars, where he can genuinely, actively help people who need it instead of sitting behind a desk. Kirk is a man of action, and he sees the same need to explore in his fellow Enterprise captain.

A runner-up would be Kirk’s famous last words as he was dying… “It was fun… Oh my.”

Throughout the 7 Star Trek films featuring William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk, the best lines that Kirk speaks are memorable quotes indicative of his character evolution from the brash young man in the captain’s chair in Star Trek: The Original Series into the older, wiser former admiral who has accepted his place in the world that he helped form. Shatner’s Kirk is iconic as a leader who keeps coming back to the Enterprise long after its five-year mission, a loyal friend to Leonard Nimoy’s Spock and DeForest Kelley’s Leonard McCoy, and of course, a pioneer in the Star Trek cinematic universe.

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